Magician Channing Pollock dead at 79

March 21, 2006 at 3:12 PM

LAS VEGAS, March 21 (UPI) -- Magician Channing Pollock, called by Lance Burton "the most emulated magician of the 20th century," has died in Las Vegas at age 79.

Pollock died at home Sunday from complications of cancer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday.

In a statement, Burton said Pollock not only inspired him as a child, but became his mentor, teacher and "one of my closest friends."

Magician David Copperfield called Pollock "the James Bond of magic" who "inspired a generation of conjurers."

"Channing was like a second dad to many," Copperfield said. "I am one of his 'sons.'"

Pollock started his career in 1952 and shot to stardom with an appearance on Ed Sullivan's "Toast of the Town" in 1954.

Through the years, he performed for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and at the wedding of Monaco's Prince Rainier and actress Grace Kelly.

He appeared in several films as well, including "Europe by Night," "Musketeers of the Sea," "Rocambole" and "The Red Sheik." His many TV appearances included "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Bonanza," "The Hollywood Palace" and "The Andy Williams Show."

He is survived by his wife and a son. A Las Vegas memorial service was scheduled May 13 at the Monte Carlo.

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